I learned how to poach eggs for the first time last year. I had tried everything - having my mom walk me through her method, buying an egg poacher (those things suck, don't bother) to finally accepting that restaurant eggs are it for me. Then I figured out that actually it's just all about the freshness of the egg. I started buying eggs from a local supplier recently and I buy two trays every two weeks (60) so when I get those, it's poaching time! My default method used to be the vinegar water swirly technique. Sometimes it worked, sometimes I lost three eggs before admitting defeat and making boiled eggs instead. When poaching fails, it fails in a big messy way, your eggs just fall apart in the water. But the common theme was; even when they worked, they were never very pretty.
Then I watched the Masterchef Australia episode that would change my eggy life forever. Thank you Heston Blumenthal! Now, you can watch his video (<--- click over there) but I am still going to describe how I finally perfected it because I do it slightly differently. Fresh eggs are still important but I have actually done this with two week old eggs and it worked perfectly. I LOVE poached eggs and will never go back to swirling water again.